Contact: Lawrence Cook
May 3, 2012
A bill seeking to enroll more high school students in manufacturing internships—thereby helping to create the next generation of Connecticut’s high-tech manufacturing workforce—passed the state Senate today on a unanimous and bipartisan vote under the leadership of state Senator Beth Bye (D-West Hartford).
Senate Bill 383 amends state law to allow minors age 16 or older to participate in a manufacturing internship in any manufacturing establishment; state law currently prohibits minors (under 18) from working in various hazardous occupations.
The idea of a hands-on student manufacturing internship was first proposed by the regional chapter of a national pro-business group called “Dream It, Do it” where Sen. Bye sits on the Board of Directors. “Dream It, Do It” seeks to address the growing shortage of talent and skilled workers in U.S. manufacturing.
“The legislature has made an enormous commitment in the past year to helping state manufacturers get back on their feet and put the pieces in place for a strong recovery. This internship initiative is another part of that commitment,” Sen. Bye said. “The small businesses I talk to are happy to have the state’s financial support, but they need a well-trained workforce to run machines and fill new orders. They won’t get that if high school students are not introduced at an early age to all of the opportunities our state manufacturers have to offer. An internship is an easy and successful way to do that.”
The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Vice Chair: Education
Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106-1591
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